Every house has them. You know, those items that don’t have an obvious storage space but really should have their own place to call home. With a little imagination and some good ‘ol common sense, your organizational dreams for those corn-on-the-cob holders can easily become a reality. Following are a few examples of where to stow items that have no standard place to hang their hats. Perhaps one or more of the following ideas will complement your version of organizational bliss.
1. Rubber bands. They keep the Sunday funnies from falling out of your newspaper. They’re also used to keep celery stalks together. So where to store these circular creatures? Consider placing them around the interior door handle of your hall closet, on a hook underneath the kitchen sink, or in a box in a kitchen cabinet.
2. Corn-on-the-cob holders. Ah, yes. These items are funny little things that make an appearance every summer and then go into hiding the rest of the year (sometimes to never be found again). Consider storing them with your barbecue gear or in your silverware drawer. Of course, you may wish to stow them in a miniature food storage container before they take permanent shelter in a drawer near you.
3. Twist ties. These are great for keeping your Ipod’s wire from getting knotted. They’re also good for keeping plastic bags closed and for keeping cilantro and basil bunched together. So how to store these lightweight wonders? Affix a hook to the inside of a cabinet door, and twist these ties around the hook, just once. Keep in mind that twist ties can take over your kitchen…so be realistic when determining how many ties you’ll keep in your collection at any given time.
4. Coasters. These mini mats protect your coffee table regardless of what beverage is on the menu. But when they’re not in use, they’re sometimes in the way. Consider storing them on or underneath your coffee table, on an end table, or in your kitchen. Keep coaster sets together, and make a point of using them regularly.
5. Spare change. As our world gets increasingly digitized, and as fewer financial transactions involve cash, fewer and fewer people are using change these days. What to do with your spare change? Keep quarters in a miniature bag or box and stash them in your car to pay for those old-school parking meters. Keep all other spare change in a mug, bottle, or jar that’s stored in your garage, laundry room, or pantry. When it’s full, count up your denero and then divide it evenly among the kids, donate it to someone who can put it to good use, or take it to the bank and exchange it for dollar bills.
6. Business cards. If you tossed out your Rolodex in favor of the electronic version, the storage solution for business cards is simple. After capturing the contact information electronically, shred the cards. If, however, you are a faithful Rolodex user, the best (and only) place for business cards is in your trusty rotating file device. Note to self: piles of business cards are unattractive and not too helpful.
7. Chewing gum. This is a great candidate for the pantry. You also may wish to keep a pack of gum in your car or in your desk at the office.
8. Rubber duckies. These don’t tend to hang around your house unless someone gave them to you, or unless you have small children. They can be stored in the bathroom cabinet or in a child’s room. They should not attempt to inhabit the stairs, the living room floor, or the washing machine.
9. Coupons. Coupons should be stored together, preferably in their own envelope, miniature folder, or the like. Visit the Clipper Queen for more tips on how to store your coupons – and how to become a coupon clipping pro.
10. Cards. These could be thank you notes, holiday wishes, or Valentine’s Day greetings. If you want to save them, they should find a home somewhere other than the mantle (especially if their intended holiday was months ago). Store cards in an attractive keepsake box or album for your future perusal. Or put them in a keepsake storage bin gracing the shelves in your basement.
Finding storage solutions for the unique items hanging around your house takes just a few moments, and it can make all the difference in the look and feel of your home. By storing like items together and ensuring that every object has its own place, you declutter your household in the blink of an eye. This week, take some time to give the odds-and-ends in your home their very own niche. You’ll be glad you did.
* Photo by Jonathan Eggers